Taiwan boat captain dead, crew missing after attack

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TAIPEI, Nov 13 (Reuters) A Taiwan fishing boat captain is dead and his three crew missing after an apparent mutiny by Indonesian deckhands who wanted to steal the vessel and its large catch of fish, a Taiwan official said today.

The crew, all from Taiwan, were feared dead, said foreign ministry spokeswoman Phoebe Yeh.

Indonesian authorities investigating the incident near Papua New Guinea have arrested eight Indonesians who had been hired as temporary workers on the Taiwanese vessel, she said.

A search began when the captain's wife couldn't reach her husband by phone on Thursday. Indonesian authorities then searched for the ship and found the Indonesian deckhands on board.

The captain's body was also found on board.

''This was a brand new boat, and the fish haul was huge, so they tried to steal it,'' Yeh said. ''We're keeping tight contact with the Indonesian side, but they haven't told us yet what's happening.'' The boat, worth more than T million (620,000 dollars), was making its maiden voyage when attacked, local media said.

REUTERS CS KP1120

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